Club News, February 1942

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Oita, /Lewd …..??•119PP

THE CRAWFORDSBURN RALLY

The Crawfordsburn Rally of the Ulster M.C., held in December last, proved an outstanding Success, in spite of being disfavoured by very poor climatic conditions. Over 90 persons attended and inspection of the cars present was every bit on a par with the Chessington atmosphere. G. W. McCrea showed his ex-Donkin T.T. AstonMartin, P. J. N. Eve his H.R.G., and A. J. Bell a ” 38/250 ” Mercedes-Benz 4-seater. There was a ” Special ” Talbot ” 00 ” on view, with shortened and lowered frame and a very G.P. Sunbeam-like body, while Stanley Martin presented his roller-bearing 2-litre G.P. Bugatti as a stripped chassis, which involved a distinctly damp tour to the venue. There was, too, a Triumph solo with a 350-c.c. “Competition ” frame and a ” Tiger 100 ” engine mounted with the head the reverse way from normal, the carburetter now facing forward. Robin Hanson, now in the R.A.F., turned up in his Lagonda ” Rapide ” coupe, and A. Powys-Lybbe, of Signals, in a fine 3-litre Sunbeam. The film show of Irish races, including the T.T., was especially appreciated, and splendidly put over by Charlie Agnew, the Belfast Bentley and Rolls-Royce agent. The ” K3 ” M.G. was unable to come on account of petrol rationing, and Barbour’s M.G.-engined G.P. Sunbeam, now covered in rust and sans radiator and steering wheel, was another absentee, as was the Type C Aston-Martin. But this in no way diminished enthusiasm for an excellently run and quite invaluable gathering of the clans.

STAMFORD BRIDGE SPEEDWAY M.C.C. JANUARY SCRAMBLE

A further fall of snow caused the organisers of the Stamford Bridge Scramble on January 18th to alter their plans. After some practising, a steep section approaching the start had to be by-passed and the distance of the 250-c.c. event reduced from 8 laps to 5 laps and the 350-c.c. and Unlimited race from 10 laps to 7 laps. The course, on the W.D. area of Bagshot, was 1 miles in length and one of the trickiest yet. Starting from the flat ground near the road from the “Jolly Farmer,” it descended into a valley and then up the other side behind the Water Tower, round the back of the Tower and then across a further valley to the start. The start was delayed by about one hour while everyone had a chance of practising, which appeared very necessary. The first event for 250-c.c. motor-cycles saw E. C. Bessant riding an Army type ” G.3 ” Matchless, with Teledraulic forks and plenty of ground clearance, believed to be one of the first experimental ;io!)s. G. F. Robertson, who was due to ride the Stewart Erhlich, rode a Triumph instead, and Botting was mounted on a spring-frame New Imperial. Bessant

gained quite an appreciable lead on lap 1, but it was short lived, as he suffered from fuel feed troubles, and Robertson took the lead. However, Bessant got going again and passed Robertson while he was at a standstill on one of the hills suffering from wheelspin. E. G. Wilmot was running a steady third with a normally sprung Matchless, and the order remained unchanged until. the finish.

While waiting for the start of the second event, which was for 350-c.c. bikes, we noticed a very fine solo 1,000-c.c. Brough-Superior and a number of Scotts. We were puzzled as to why a certain rider went to the trouble of having ” George ” engraved on bis timing case, just as painting silly names on car bonnets puzzles us. The start of the 850-c.c. event saw Robertson and Berry fighting for the initial lead, both on 350-c.c. Triumphs ; but after one circuit of the difficult course Berry was wellain the lead, Wilmot

was second on his usual 350-c.c. A.J.S. fitted with Teledraulics, and Robertson was third. Bessant (350-c.c. Matchless) failed to complete one lap and Botting (350-c.c. Matchless) was a long way back. The order remained the same for the seven laps, Berry riding very steadily indeed to win comfortably. We wandered round the back stretches during this event and noticed with wonderment the terrific battering crankcases were getting on a very ” switchback ” section of the course. With the plentiful supply of snow about we were sorely tempted to lob a snow ball on to the tanks of the passing riders : the suggestion that a full-size snowman might be built around one of the blind corners was going a bit too far, we thought. In the Unlimited event Bessant was riding the ” G.3 ” Matchless in place of his “350,” and Botting rode his 250-c.c. New Imperial instead of his “350 ” Matchless. On the first lap Berry gained a good lead, with Wilmot second, Bessant third and Botting fourth ; an interesting tail-ender was a Norton fitted with a Blackburne engine. Robertson was right off form, lying about ninth and not going too well. Berry held his lead throughout the seven laps, riding magnificently and gaining a well-deserved win. Wilmot and Bessant had a good scrap for second place, Bessant gaining the lead on the sixth lap

and retaining it. Botting ran a steady fourth and J. T. Terry worked his way up to fifth place.

The meeting, once started, was run off very promptly, especially so considering the severe conditions. The brief intervals between races were ably filled in by the Tank Corps with a Bren gun carrier and full crew, giving an exhibition of how scrambling should be done.—D. S. J. RESULTS

250 c.c. (5 laps) : 1, E. C. Bessant (Matchless); 2, 0. F. Robertson (Triumph); 3, E. G. Wilmot (A.J.S.).

350 o.e. (7 laps) : 1, G. M. Berry (Triumph); 2, B. 0. Wilmot (A.J.S.); 3, G. F. Robertson (Triumph).

Unlimited (7 laps) : 1, G. M. Berry (Triumph): 2, E. C. Bessant (” 25(1 ” Matebless); 3, B. 0. Wilmot (A.J.S.).

WE HEAR. . . . Roddy Clarke has had his 5-litre Bugatti carriage on the road and has quite captivated Sam Clutton with it. He would like to hear of a Mercedes or Alfa-Romeo type blower for sale secondhand. Up in Shropshire Geoffrey Frank believes he has unearthed a 1920 DayLeeds and a 1915 10.4-11.p. Humber, lying on farms, where he is doubtless, even now, digging them out of the snow. His present stable comprises a 2-litre M.G., an L-type M.G. Magna, a Singer “Le Mans,” a Straight Eight Railton and a triplecarburetter ” 16/95 ” Alvis, the last two temporarily hors de combat. The Register brings in some interesting information, and we learn of a single-cylinder Renault of 1904-7 vintage for sale near Chelmsford at £20-125. F. W. Roberts, of 2, Norton Road, Chelmsford, can supply more details and would also like to hear from any owners of ” Hyper ” Lea-Francis living at Chelmsford, Watford or Richmond; his own car of this type is laid up for the duration. A 1912 air-cooled Humberette at £7 and a 1911 Austin of about 12 h.p., which was running until the outbreak of war, are reported near Bedford, the latter priced at £10. In Manchester a 1924 ” Red Label ” Bentley, reputed to be the ex-Benj afield Le Mans car, now with coupe body, is for sale at £100. The performance and condition are both exceptional. P. R. Quiggin has acquired Jesty’s ” Special ” Austin Seven and intends to fit his own special engine. J. D. Statham is running a 1937 Austin “Nippy,” and Petty Officer E. A. Nicholas, who seeks a Type 40, or similar, Bugatti, has a Vale ” Special ” and is probably joining the ranks of the 750 Club. Then Charles Lambton, of the Coldstream Guards, has an unblown 14-litre Bugatti in storage ; he would like to hear of a clutch centre-plate for a 1938 1,1(0-c.c. Fiat. Sad news comes that the breaker who had the beautifully-preserved EnfieldAlldays mentioned last month very soon smashed up the bodywork, and that a ” 12/50 ” and ” 16/75 ” Alvis were recently scrapped by an equally worthless vandal in Honiton. A 1931 13-litre Invicta sports tourer is reputed for sale at about £60 in Chard, complete with spare block, pistons, valves, etc. A 1925 “10/23 ” Talbot 2-seater, with r.h. gearchange, has recently been put in commission by an enthusiast for early small cars, E. A. Kirnber, of Riley and Neate,

Ltd., Maughton Road, Darlington, Co. Durham, who is anxious to glean technical details of these cars. The car was owned for 14 years by the first owner and for a year by a middle-aged school-teacher and had been laid up for two years when it was acquired last November ; rebored once in 64,006 miles, it uses no oil and does 30-35 m.p.g. Very warmest congratulations to Lt. Marcus Chambers, R.N.V.R., on his marriage on January 10th to Miss Lona Cross, one of the Leading ladies from the Windmill Theatre —a telegram from Peter Clark brought us this happy announcement. Congratulations also to Baroness Dorndorf, better known as Miss Dorothy Patten, on her engagement to Capt. Anthony Ryan, of the Sherwood Foresters. Bunny Tubbs threatens to motor amongst us in a 1024 13-litre blown Mercedes touring car at some distant date. Lycett’s ” Alphonso ” Hispano-Suiza. ” Agatha ” the Renault, Shakespeare’s Enfield-Alldays and Mors Edwardians and a pre-1914 Gregoire are all living together at a country “pub.,” but the last three may come into the market in the near future, as their owners cannot be found. An 8-litre Bentley, which might be useful as a source of spares, is reported to be at Lichfield. 2nd-Lt. G. V. K. Burton, R.A., is running a big-port ” 12/50 ” Alvis, but is having a spot of bother of an obscure nature at the moment, he believes due to using too high a compression ratio: he has owned a ” 12140,” a 12,00,” a fourcylinder F.W.D., a six-cylinder ” 14/75,” a “16/95,” a “Speed Twenty” and four “

12!50s” of this marque, and wonders how many people know intimately the ” 14/75.” A.C.1 R. H. Warnes, R.A.F., motors in a Ford Eight, but used to run an ” Ulster ” Aston-Martin and is seeking a T.T. Replica Frazer-Nash. At a recent auction sale at “The Phcenix ” at Hartley Wintney, one-time Vintage S.C.C. headquarters, a ” 30/98 ” Vauxhall was sold for £6; we believe the Plutnix-“Special” was also disposed of. A Powerplus supercharged s.v. Aston-Martin, looking remarkably like one of the Boulogne team cars, has been found in the South, in quite nice condition, and someone wants to dispose of a blown 750-cc. M.G., which has a special gearbox, cockpit brake adjustment and a ” J2 ” body without doors—a car built up by Abingdon—for £100. Mertens had his 41-litre Bentley out on the Barnet By-pass recently and achieved a genuine 90 m.p.h. Jesty has acquired a 1930 Lea-Francis saloon. During the last war Palethorpe’s father was a Farnborough test-pilot and ran one of the T.T. Humbers as a regular road car. To-day’s pilots travel landwise in small boxes. . . . Miss Pip Meyrat, who used to drive her father’s Ford Eight in trials and rallies, is in the London Ambulance Service. C. W. P. Hampton has acquired the Editor’s 1912 Delage with the object of rebuilding it ; he has sold his famous

if Mercedes-Benz to Lord Ridley, his present every-day mount being an 1,100-c.c. Fiat. 750 CLUB The 750 Club’s monthly meeting scheme continues to be as successful as ever, and Capon deserves the heartfelt thanks of a considerable body of enthusiasts for giving them just what they require in the way of war-time meetings. Any enthusiast is welcome, providing he notifies the secretary in ample time of his intention to partake of lunch. On February 1st a very pleasant gathering took place at the ” Osterley,” Great West Road, in spite of a heavy snowstorm, a hall-mark of enthusiasm. After lunch, Laurence

Pomeroy described his Club Car Scheme, which we refer to elsewhere in this issue. Amongst those who attended were Lieut. Mallock (Meadows Frazer-Nash), Mr. and Mrs. Phil Hunter (A.E.W. Austin), Capt. Moon and Peter Ward (” Nippy “Austin), S. H. Capon, Frost, Ashwood and Merrilees (Riley “Kestrel “), Mertens (open 43-litre Bentley), Mr. and Mrs. Pomeroy and Cecil Clutton (D.K.W.), Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert (Morris Eight 2-seater), Ansty (” Ulster” Austin), Rivers-Fletcher and Penny Fletcher (Austin “Stadium “), John Jesty and his lady (all the way from Derby by train), H. L. Biggs (Fiat “500”), L. M. Ballamy, chairman of the meeting, and Butler (Ford ” Anglia ” with V8 comp.-shod rear wheels), Holland Birkett (Austin Seven saloon and parts of an Austin in a trailer), Mr. and Mrs. Childs (Austin Seven, late type 2-seater), a P.R. M.G. Midget and Lowrey, Jenkinson, Brymer and Boddy (1,100-c.c. II.R.G.). Much discussion followed Laurence Pomeroy’s talk, Rivers-Fletcher and Jesty opposing, while Ballarny thought individual experimentation would be a more likely line of action, and Brymer questioned the cost of the project. However, the speaker had many supporters. The Editor of MOTOR SPORT concluded by asking whether, if the scheme was to come into being, we should start to breed a special sort of scrutineer to cope with it, as people used to tinkering might do nonstandard things to their cars. Mr. Pomeroy replied that if bne car was noticeably faster than others it could be subjected to special examination, compression ratio being measured by a screw-in gauge, etc., and, if non-standard, possibly banned for eternity. He rather felt that “your sins will find you out,” while he did not think mild increases of speed gained by secret modifications of a minor character would be of much moment.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 1st at the same venue. Please notify the secretary if you can attend. Hon. Sec., S. H. Capon, 159, Upper Tulse Hill, London, S. W.2 V.2 (Tulse Hill 6426).